Social Security lifts about 54,000 Hawaii seniors out of poverty, according to a new analysis.
The figure from the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities used Census estimates to determine how the federal entitlement program helps keep senior citizens above the poverty line.
The analysis found that the program lifts 22 million Americans nationally out of poverty. The poverty rate among seniors in the United States is about 9 percent. If Social Security is taken away, the figure shoots to 41 percent.
In Hawaii, some 7.6 percent of seniors live in poverty. The center said without Social Security, the poverty rate for seniors in the islands would be more like 31 percent.
Hawaii has nearly 257,000 Social Security beneficiaries. The vast majority are 65 or older.